The 2014 Maritime Innovation Award, given jointly by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and QinetiQ, has been presented to Subsea Industries for the product Ecolock.
The Maritime Innovation Award is presented to an individual or organisation in recognition of outstanding scientific or technological research in hydrodynamics, propulsion, structures and material which offers the potential to make significant improvements in the design, construction and operation of marine vessels and structures.
Increasingly, offshore vessels such as FPSOs, FSOs, FLRSUs and others used for offshore oil and gas exploration, drilling, storage and transport need to stay out of drydock for 15, 25 even 40 years. The challenge has been to protect the underwater hull from corrosion and to provide a cleanable surface so that the biofouling that accumulates can be removed successfully and safely without the need for docking.
In the early 2000s after more than 10 years of research, Subsea Industries developed glassflake reinforced coating. The solution combines a hard coating with routine in-water cleaning. Ecolock, which is a continuation of that research and development, is also a glassflake reinforced coating, but one intended specifically to meet the challenging hull protection requirements of offshore vessels. Ecolock can be cleaned underwater as often as needed to meet the requirements of FPSOs, drill ships and other offshore vessels.
Ecolock provides a hard, impermeable coating which even the toughest barnacle will not penetrate. Barnacles, coral and other fouling organisms can be removed completely by divers, leaving no trace and restoring the coating to its original condition. And because it is non-toxic, it is sensitive to the environment.
Ecolock is the result of continuous R&D on offshore hull coatings since the 1990s.
RINA Chief Executive Trevor Blakeley says: “The maritime industry today is facing many challenges as it responds to the increasing demands of operators, regulators and society for greater efficiency, safety and the protection of the environment. Meeting these challenges will require innovative thinking in all sectors of the industry. However, in an industry which is highly dependent on technology, it is in technological and scientific research and development that innovation will have perhaps the greatest impact, in providing ships and marine structures which cost less to design, build and operate, are safer, and are more sensitive to the environment.”
Trevor Blakeley adds: “Ecolock is a fine example of the ongoing technological innovation needed to address industry’s challenges of today, and one worthy of the Maritime Innovation Award.”
The Award was presented to Manuel Hof, Subsea Industries’ Production Executive, by Sarah Kennedy, Managing Director of QinetiQ Maritime, at the Institution’s 2015 Annual Dinner on 30 April 2015.
About the Award
Now in its second year, the RINA – QinetiQ Maritime Innovation Award acknowledges outstanding scientific or technological research in the areas of hydrodynamics, propulsion, structures and material. The award recognises innovations that offer the potential to make significant improvements in the design, construction and operation of marine vessels and structures.
Announced every year at the RINA Annual Dinner, the Award is presented to either an individual or an organisation, in any country, and is judged by a panel of members of the Institution and QinetiQ. Nominations, which can be made by any member of the global maritime community, are now being invited for the 2015 Maritime Innovation Award. Individuals may not nominate themselves, although employees may nominate their company or organisation.
Nominations, which may be up to 750 words and should describe the research and its potential contribution to improving the design, construction and operation of maritime vessels and structures, can be forwarded online at www.rina.org.uk/MaritimeInnovationAward or by email to MaritimeInnovationAward@rina.org.uk . To be considered they must arrive by December 31 2015.
About The Royal Institution of Naval Architects
Founded in 1860 in London to “…advance the art and science of ship design”, the Royal Institution of Naval Architects is today an internationally renowned professional institution whose members are involved at all levels in the design, construction, repair and operation of marine vessels and structures in over 90 countries. RINA members are widely represented at all levels in the maritime industry, universities and colleges, and maritime organisations.
Membership of RINA is open to those who are professionally qualified in naval architecture or marine technology, or who are involved or interested in the maritime industry. Membership provides an internationally recognised professional qualification which demonstrates the achievement and commitment to the highest standards of professional competence and integrity. RINA members enjoy a wide range of benefits and services, including advice on education, training and professional development. RINA also publishes a range of technical journals, and organises an extensive programme of international conferences and training courses covering all aspects of naval architecture and maritime technology.
The Institution is an NGO member of the International Maritime Organisation, a member of the International Standards Organisation and a member of the Confederation of European Maritime Technical Societies, where is contributes its collective expertise to the work of those organisations.
Helping its clients to save lives, time and money at sea, QinetiQ offers a range of technology-based services and solutions to important problems facing the shipping industry. For governments and industrial partners in the naval and coastguard sectors, QinetiQ provides technology, solutions, services and consultancy, with long-term customer relationships with defence customers worldwide underpinning the business.
Offshore, whether in renewable energy or oil & gas, QinetiQ’s services and solutions are helping its customers to secure affordable sources of energy, maximise energy efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of their businesses. The company offers a wide range of test facilities, from large hydrodynamic tanks to sea ranges, while other services include maritime platform consulting; naval architecture software; technology management and acquisition support.